We may be dreaming of driving in the less hectic road situation where our energy is used up for steering our car for a happy long journey and not because of the emotional pressures caused by the bad traffic.

We may also be dreaming of taking public transportation that isn’t that complicated and tiring.

We become admiring how well the transportation system is in the country we are visiting until we wake up and ask, “Will that ever be realized in Indonesia?” 

• • •

The everyday scenario in Jakarta as an example, even if we are not driving, we can feel the tension on the road, especially during peak hours – the driver of one car, while fully concentrating not to break the traffic rules, will also try to speed up taking over another car. Not yet when seeing the traffic light is about turning to yellow – sit tight, check on the buckle, hold breath and step on the gas! All just so that he/she won’t be caught up in the traffic. Every second count. Like on the battlefield. 

peekholidays Traffic in New Zealand
Road traffic in Lake Taupo, New Zealand

If we ask about the road traffic issue in Indonesia, especially in few populated areas such as Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek), we might hear more negative responses than positive ones. Aah..some friends from overseas who come to Jakarta said that experiencing the traffic jam is also one of the things to do in Jakarta as well, jokingly. But I am pretty sure, that isn’t something we all want to make it to the list of attractions in Jakarta.

I am that type of person that enjoys the journey and taking public transportation when I was still living in overseas. I thought I would as well after I moved back to Jakarta – as in spending a long time on the road shouldn’t be a big deal for me. However, after few times having meetings and attending events few days in a row within the same week, I come to realize that this is not something I would enjoy at all. Early morning is probably the only time when we won’t see too much traffic in Jakarta.

Traffic in Jakarta in the early morning
Early morning traffic in Jakarta – much less busy

I am a freelancer and most of the times I work at home or at café nearby just for a change of environment and people watching while looking for inspirations. So, I may not experience the suffering as a daily commuter as much as most people in general but I do understand the feeling.

Sometimes, when we say that we are so stressed with our office works, I am actually wondering if it is our workloads that are the culprit of our stress or our journey going to work is? Something that we need to ponder.

The Café Talk with BPTJ. All is Explained.

Last week, we had a casual café talk in Kedai 3 Nyonya, a courtesy event held by BPTJ to share with us the issues we are currently having in Jabodetabek, the solutions that have been implemented and also the future plans.

The interesting issue we have in Indonesia – that other countries might not have, is the traffic jam in expressways. As its name says it all, expressways are meant to be the faster routes for road users to opt for, however, while it might serve that purpose, the problem is the traffic going there is already beyond the healthy range.

*BPTJ is the unit under government sector handling transportation system matters in Jabodetabek (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi) area.

Bloggers Group Photo at BPTJ Event
Bloggers at BPTJ Cafe Talk Event

Implementation of Odd and Even Car Plate Number Scheme

There are few expressways that are heavily used every day. Such as Jakarta – Cikampek, Jagorawi, and Jakarta – Tangerang Expressway. In order to distribute the traffic on those expressways, the action taken by BPTJ is by applying the odd and even car plate scheme – odd dates for odd car plate numbers users and so on. We know that it’s been implemented for quite sometimes in few major areas in Jakarta.

According to the site survey, after the implementation, it shows a significant reduction about 35% in traffic at Jakarta – Cikampek Expressway. It pushes the traffic flow to other alternative routes. I am pretty sure when it was just being implemented, it had triggered reactions from many road users.

BPTJ's Presentation

One example is the recent comment I heard from a frequent road user in Jakarta. He finds that the odd and even number scheme not only troublesome but also hurts the economy in that area. In his opinion. driving away traffic means driving people away from visiting the shops or commercial places in that area.  

While I don’t know how big the damage is, but I think in every effort to make changes, it will bring a temporary good and bad impacts to a certain group of people – with a purpose for a better future for ALL group of people.

How can we support in reducing the traffic in Jabodetabek? #AyoNaikBus

That’s only one of the issues BPTJ have to take care of. We haven’t yet got into the public transportation facilities which are also a major concern because it helps to cut the number of vehicles on the road as well.

BPTJ Premium Bus

Based on the conducted survey by BPTJ, the number of vehicles hitting the road daily has exceeded about 10 % from the daily healthy ratio. An illustration to get this thing clear for you. If the road were a bottle and the vehicles were the water, our current situation is our bottle is already overflowing.

BPTJ encourage us to take the public transportation. They also work on improving the comfort of the bus by providing premium buses as an option for those who take comfort as their most priority with free wi-fi, power socket, and personal reclining seat facilities. JAConnexion is one of the examples of what BPTJ have done for people who want to get to the central of Jakarta as soon as they get off from the Soekarno-Hatta Internation Aiport.

BPTJ Timelines
BPTJ Execution Timeline

Besides that, they plan to provide more park and ride areas where we can park our car and continue by taking public transportation to get to our destination. They also open to feedback from commuters and also learn from other countries and see what can be implemented here to improve the life of commuters in Jabodetabek.

Follow the progress on BPTJ Instagram or Twitter.

• • •

After the talk, I discussed this matter with my friend who takes public transportation daily to work. We come to a conclusion that there are so many layers that need to be tidy up to get to what we all want – a pleasant daily commuting experience. One issue is linked to another issue, a lot of works to be done and I believe BPTJ also can’t afford to prolong this situation any longer. I could see from their presentation during the talk, how eager they were to solve the traffic issues in Jabodetabek.

I think that to fix always takes more time than to build from zero. Similar to a case when we plan on getting a dream house. Obviously, it will be easier to buy a land and build from scratch than to buy a ready-built house then do a renovation.

That’s the situation the BPTJ having right now. They are fixing and improving the transportation system that has already existed for years – so long that maybe even since before you and I was born. 

All can be done if we all work together. It’s not solely the BPTJ’s responsible to make all things great. We live here, we are part of the society. I don’t know how long it will take, all I know if we don’t start it now, we will never ever get there. Slowly but sure, we are progressing.

Or you have other thoughts? Feel free to voice out in the comment box below!

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